Adaptability Interview

15 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Updated on March 4th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 15

When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

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How to Answer: When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

  1. 1.

    When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know how you react when it comes to setbacks in the workplace. Everyone handles the stress and disappointment of setbacks differently. Discuss with the interviewer how you typically cope with delays in the workplace.

      Rachelle's Answer

      "Experiencing a setback is always disappointing, and can be a bit disheartening, but I understand that it happens from time to time. If I experience a major setback, I will take a few moments to debrief with my manager and discuss what I could have done differently. Then, I move on!"

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "I allow myself a moment to be frustrated when a setback occurs, but never publicly. I may go for a quick walk on my lunch break, for instance. When a setback occurs, I prefer to take from the experience rather than have it take energy away from me."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "Setbacks can be trying, but I find that you have to learn how to lose before you learn how to win. While I never enjoy a setback, I use them as a stepping off point to something even better."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "Setbacks happen for a reason, and they do not affect me emotionally in the least. I am a very pragmatic thinker and stay focused on my project despite the challenges that come my way. I am a creative thinker, so setbacks are often used as a new jumping off point to something even better."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "When working in a customer facing role, as I do, setbacks will happen on a regular basis. I recall one time when I hit my weekly sales target by just a hair. Ten minutes before closing, a customer returned an item purchased from me. It put me in the hole! Ugh! It felt like such a burn. With that said, I took that enthusiasm and applied it to my following weeks' KPI's and knocked it out of the park."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "Salespeople are competitive and thus, tend to take things personally when setbacks occur. I become internally frustrated when my goal fails or a perceived "done deal" falls through. When this happens, I will go through a mental rundown of what I could have done differently. It can certainly be emotionally taxing, but I also learn a ton from processing these mistakes."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Teacher Interview

      "I need to understand that setbacks happen as a teacher. Whether it is a student's learning, a policy change, or lack of funding. When these setbacks happen, I improvise, as all great teachers must do!"

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous Answer

      "It affects me emotionally and also has some effects on my job. However, I will try my best to control all unintended situations that cause problems."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Try focusing your response on a more positive aspect of change. Unfortunately this answer would create more questions than answers, and would be a red flag to the interviewer. I have provided an example for you.

      "Setbacks can be emotional, especially because I put so much effort into what I do at work. I do my best to remain professional and in control in all situations, and am sure to learn a lesson from setbacks whenever possible."

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